There’s nothing good about Turnbull’s sex ban

Sandra Bloodworth What to do when desperately trying to keep your government from sinking in a mire of salacious scandal brought on by Barnaby Joyce’s sordid and hypocritical personal life? Malcolm Turnbull’s solution is a new “code of conduct” for government ministers, which bans them, married or single, f...CONTINUE READING

Was there a parliamentary alternative in Russia 1917?

Sandra Bloodworth “He who controls the past controls the future.” So says Winston Smith in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Makes me think of the gaggle of reputable historians who roll out fictional accounts of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Bolshevism? Workers’ power? Don’t even think of it; listen...CONTINUE READING

Russia 1917: when the people rose

Sandra Bloodworth A century ago, Russian workers blazed a new path in human history. Their revolution of 1917 inspired millions around the globe and struck terror into the hearts of the rich.CONTINUE READING

Women, class and the Bolsheviks

Sandra Bloodworth Most accounts of the Russian Revolution of 1917 rightly emphasise the role of women workers in Petrograd on International Women’s Day (IWD), when their strikes sparked the mass movement that overthrew the tsar. But then they disappear regarding the rest of the year – except for the women’s...CONTINUE READING

Russia 1917 A radical workers’ democracy comes to life

Sandra Bloodworth The outbreak of revolution throughout Russia in February 1917 brought millions of people who previously had little say over politics right to the centre of political life. Historian Rex Wade describes how masses of people “burst forth with a dazzling display of self-assertiveness, public m...CONTINUE READING

Henry Lawson and the ‘Australian Legend’

Sandra Bloodworth Romanticisation of the outback and the bush has been an enduring theme in the construction of Australian nationalism. Self-reliance in the face of an inhospitable natural environment allegedly epitomises, or at least captures something central to, “the Aussie spirit”. Think of the endless...CONTINUE READING

Crimes against children in NT jails

Sandra Bloodworth The banality of evil: Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase echoes in my brain after watching the Four Corners report on the torture of children in Northern Territory jails. First was the swaggering, joking corrections minister John Elferink mocking Caro Meldrum-Hanna, the ABC journalist investiga...CONTINUE READING

Skate park destroyed to appease middle class bigots

Sandra Bloodworth If I wasn’t in my 70s and blind, I’d have taken a skateboard to Lincoln Square in Carlton every day in recent weeks to take lessons from the young people skating there. Anything to spite the la-di-da Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle and the snobbish professor at Melbourne University, who...CONTINUE READING

The refugee ‘crisis’ symbolises a decaying system

Sandra Bloodworth An official in Berlin refers to the refugees arriving in Germany as “the unwanted waste of the world”. It is 1946, and he is a migration specialist from the occupying British army. He complains that Germany is not a “waste-paper basket with a limitless capacity” for this trash. Seventy yea...CONTINUE READING